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UNISON is the UK’s largest health union. Over 400,000 members work for the NHS and for private contractors providing NHS services.

More than 60,000 UNISON members work in the NHS in Scotland. Our members working in the health service include nurses, student nurses, midwives, health visitors, healthcare assistants, paramedics, occupational therapists, cleaners, porters, catering staff, medical secretaries, clerical and admin staff and scientific and technical staff.

See also important information for workers registered with regulatory bodies.

How we organise – Standing up for Scotland’s health service workers

UNISON organisers and activists work together to make sure our members’ concerns are heard – whether it’s about pay, health and safety, discrimination or the future of our NHS.

UNISON represents our members working in health services in Scotland in many ways:

  • Offering help and advice at work;
  • Lobbying the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government on issues our members care about;
  • Having a strong voice on the Scottish partnership organisations, which negotiate terms and conditions issues for NHS Scotland staff;
  • Raising our members professional/local concerns or by highlighting issues that will affect all health workers at a national level.
  • Standing up for Scotland’s health service

But as well as representing our members in the workplace – UNISON cares passionately about the future of the NHS as a publicly funded service that is free at the point of delivery. The NHS is a public service we can all be proud of, and UNISON wants to keep it that way.

Coronavirus latest

UNISON demands urgent action to address NHS staffing crisis

Responding to official figures released today (Tuesday) that vacancies for nurses and midwives have increased by almost 20 per cent ... Read More

Care Futures 7 – The Staff Shortages Survey

The seventh edition of UNISON Scotland’s Care Futures looks at the results of the recent UNISON Scotland survey of care ... Read More

Care Futures 5 – Minimum Employment Standards

The fifth edition of UNISON Scotland’s Care Futures outlines UNISON's view of the minimum employment standards that care workers should ... Read More

Care Futures 4 – Effective Voice

The fourth edition of UNISON Scotland's Care Futures looks at what Effective Voice could mean for workers in social care ... Read More

Care Futures No3 – What would ‘Ethical Commissioning’ look like?

The Scottish Government are consulting on setting up a National Care Service this will oversee a comprehensive range of social ... Read More

UNISON Scotland Week 321 – NHS staff are struggling, Care Futures, COP26 & more

UNISON Scotland Week 321 - NHS staff are struggling, Care Futures, COP26 & more. Read full newsletter here ... Read More

NHS staff are struggling to continue to provide safe and quality services, says UNISON Scotland

UNISON, Scotland’s largest health trade union, has called on Scottish Health Secretary, Humza Yousaf, to meet them to discuss reports ... Read More

UNISON Care Futures No2 – What would Fair Work look like in a national Care Service

This second edition of Care Futures looks at the question of how Fair Work principles could be put into practice ... Read More

UNISON Scotland’s Care Futures issue 1. Who will work for a National Care Service?

The National Care Service proposals being consulted on by the Scottish Government could impact on a wide range of sectors ... Read More

Scottish Government – Programme for Government 2021-22

The Programme for Government for 2021-22 has been announced. This sets out the Scottish Government's legislative programme and other administrative ... Read More

More Health News

Latest briefings and submissions

UNISON Demand NHS Pay Talks

thumbnail of ebrief health pay July 2020
UNISON is aware that a number of members have contacted us through Facebook and social media regarding the recent government ...
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Briefing 113 Draft Budget 2020-21

Press Release
The Scottish Government draft budget for 2020/21 has been published. The spending total amounts to a real terms increase of ...
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Independent Inquiry: Mental Health Services in Tayside

thumbnail of Policy briefing – Independent Inquiry mental health service in Tayside Feb 2020
The report from the inquiry onto mental health services in Tayside has now been published. This followed serious issues about ...
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Prohibiting Smoking Outside Hospital Buildings

thumbnail of prohibition smoking hospital buildings January 2020
UNISON generally welcomes the principle of introducing new measures to end the practice of smoking on hospital grounds. We agree ...
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thumbnail of Bargaining briefing McCleod December 2019
On 20 December 2018, the Court of Appeal in Lord Chancellor v McCloud (and others) held that in relation to ...
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UNISON WEEK 261 – SOS: Stressed out Staff in Scotland’s colleges and more …

thumbnail of UNISON Week 261
Our weekly newsletter covering our new UNISON Scotland report - SOS: Stressed out Staff in Scotland's colleges & more … ...
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More on briefings page